I look in the mirror and see the ravages of time and a fully-engaged lifetime, but I don't see an adult. I see just me; me and my self. Knowing that I am an adult by my age and accomplishments seems to make no difference to my perception of myself.
I still remember how it felt to be dismissed as if unimportant by adults. Still too, I remember the fear of facing my dad when I had done something so utterly wrong by our family moral compass. And the movement of the trade winds whispering through my hair and salting my face with aloha. That smell of ocean water and seaweed and distance from the rest of the world stays with me even to this day.
What great memories! Yes, time has washed them clean of bitterness and pain, but they really were wonderful years. I just can't seem to find that point where I traded my childhood in. I wonder if that is by design, or maybe by choice. By still feeling rather juvenile I engage with my own children on something at least close to their level with the added bonus of enjoying myself in the process.
I guess I didn't become a grown-up, but merely acquired enough adult tendencies to make it through an adult world.